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Monday round-up

At the Associated Press, Jessica Gresko offers a “look at what observers have seen from [Justice Neil] Gorsuch inside and outside the court in the past year,” as the court’s newest justice approaches his first anniversary on the bench. Eliot Mincberg takes stock of Gorsuch’s track record on the Supreme Court at People for the American Way.


  • At The National Law Journal (subscription or registration required), Tony Mauro reports that “[l]awyers for the same-sex Arkansas couples who won the right to list both spouses on birth certificates of their newborn children are back before the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking attorney fees the Arkansas Supreme Court has denied.”
  • Lawrence Hurley reports for Reuters that a suggestion by Justice Stephen Breyer in a “closely watched case involving the redrawing of electoral districts aimed at entrenching one party in power” that “the best course might be to put off a decision altogether” “illustrated the difficulty the nine justices seem to be having in producing rulings at their usual pace.”

  • At onlabor, Andrew Strom argues that victories for the plaintiffs in two high-profile First Amendment cases this term, Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission and Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees, Council 31, “may embolden teachers across the country to see whether they too have a First Amendment right to withhold their labor.”
  • In an analysis for The Washington Post, Tonja Jacobi and Matthew Sag discuss their recent study of judicial behavior during Supreme Court oral arguments, showing that “[t]he justices as a group have taken an additional 13 minutes of argument after 1995 than before, an increase of 22 percent,” and positing that “behavior at the Supreme Court changed in response to a radical increase in political polarization.”
  • Horvitz & Levy’s At the Lectern blog looks at an amicus brief filed in Trump v. Hawaii, a challenge to the latest version of the Trump administration’s entry ban, by two former justices of the California Supreme Court who “delv[e] into the legal history of pre-World War II Germany” to argue that “’[a]ppellate review of executive orders that legislate should embrace all verifiable evidence of a President’s motive or intent when motive or intent is relevant.’”
  • At The George Washington Law Review’s On the Docket blog, Alan Morrison discusses the recent decision in Encino Motorcars v. Navarro that auto-service advisors are exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act’s overtime-pay requirement, concluding that “[i]f there were ever a case in which a well-reasoned agency explanation for a change of position would have carried the day, this surely looks like such a case.”
  • At the Election Law Blog, Richard Hasen responds to a multi-part critique of Hasen’s new book about the late Justice Antonin Scalia.
  • At Balkinization, Paul Smith offers a personal perspective on Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, in which the court will decide whether the First Amendment bars Colorado from requiring a baker to create a cake for a same-sex wedding, maintaining that although “[p]eople in this country have every right to … disapprove of my marriage,” “they should not have a right to translate those beliefs into exclusionary policies when they open a business like the Masterpiece Cakeshop.”
  • The editorial board of The Los Angeles Times weighs in on last week’s per curiam decision in in Kisela v. Hughes, in which the court ruled that a police officer who shot a woman outside her home is immune from suit in a civil-rights case, arguing that “the Supreme Court … needs to stop placing its institutional thumb on the scale when those in authority are accused of violating the Constitution.”

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Recommended Citation: Edith Roberts, Monday round-up, SCOTUSblog (Apr. 9, 2018, 7:24 AM),